ST. LOUIS -- In order to make room on the 40-man roster for the addition of starter Joe Kelly, the Cardinals have given reliever Scott Linebrink his unconditional release.
Linebrink, who went on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation on the second day of the season, recently incurred his second setback in the rehab process. That left the Cardinals feeling that their best move would be to cut ties with Linebrink, rather than moving him to the 60-day DL and continuing to aid him in the rehab process.
"We just felt like it wasn't going in the right direction," general manager John Mozeliak said following Friday's 6-2 loss to the Indians. "And more importantly, with the number of players we have on the DL, it is just tough putting resources into that. Unfortunately, it didn't work. One of the main reasons we signed him was to give us a veteran presence in the bullpen, and we didn't see that light at the end of the tunnel coming soon."
Linebrink disclosed on Friday that he has recently been bothered by right biceps tendinitis, an issue that is likely the result of having been shut down for an extended period of time while letting the initial shoulder injury heal.
Linebrink, who has not pitched this season, threw his scheduled bullpen on Thursday, but noted a day later that it "was not as good as it had been the last two times." Linebrink was scheduled to see team orthopedist Dr. Luke Choi for another opinion on Friday.
"It's not fun, especially when you feel like you're making strides and something sets you back again," Linebrink said on Friday afternoon, before being told of the organization's decision. "I feel like we've had a couple sets of crossroads during this journey, and I'm in another one right now."
While this move gets Kelly onto the 40-man roster, another roster decision will have to be made before Sunday's game to open a spot on the 25-man roster for the young righty.